Charlene C

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Smashwords book reviews by Charlene C

  • Red Island on June 27, 2012

    This novel takes an interesting look inside the minds of criminals and police officers by alternating between the point of view of the serial killer and the Sergeant in charge of finding him. The scenes and emotions of the two protagonists are realistic and gritty, with the author gradually peeling back the layers on Reid and Ben (the serial killer) as Ben starts his murderous career. We are given the story of Ben's childhood as well, which the author uses to develop the instability of Ben. I'm only faintly reminded of Dexter, as there is little to sympathize with Ben (Reid says it best in the end when he ridicules Ben's complaints about the world). The way the author weaves the personal lives of Reid and Ben with their present - Reid on one side, trying to conduct a criminal investigation while keeping his past at bay, and Ben on the other planning his next murder - is particularly well done, as the reader is told only what we need to know, and we are left wondering whether Reid will pull off the capture until the last minute. There are a couple of moments when Reid is close, and you just want to jump through the pages and draw him a gigantic picture of what is going on. That element of suspense and the gradual horror of a serial killer unravelling makes this novel a stand out crime thriller.
  • The Seven Gifts on Aug. 23, 2012

    The seven short stories in this book were very interesting and came off as fairy tales in a way. They were set in a different place and time and had a variety of unique and colorful characters, and each story had a message that highlighted a "gift" that was given by God to humankind. There is a strong religious message throughout the book, which makes sense when the ending is revealed. The author has credibly created thought-provoking moral fables, where the "gift" illustrated is not always obvious. I enjoyed the stories more than the summing up by the Angel and the boy at times, and I felt like if there was a way to tie up the stories without the extra chapters with these recurring characters, this book would have flowed better. As it is, it is an interesting, short read, and I think it would especially appeal to people with strong religious beliefs.